Volunteers repairing monument

PARKERSBURG – About half a dozen volunteers crawled over the Stepping Stones of Honor Veterans Memorial at City Park Thursday, replacing damaged sections brick by brick.

It was the second work session since damage apparently caused by skateboards, bicycles and other wear and tear was reported at the memorial earlier this month. Black marks attributed to wheels marred some of the bricks, while others engraved with the names of veterans had chips and cracks on them.

“It needs to be done, and as a veteran, I look forward to honoring the veterans, and I do what I can,” said Vienna Lions Club member Bill Ruggieri as he chipped away at a scuffed brick.

Angela Shoemaker, projects and events coordinator for the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley in Parkersburg, said it’s estimated that replacing the damaged bricks – including more than 100 engraved ones – will cost about $2,000.

“We’ve received donations from the McDonough Foundation, a couple donations from local people that saw (the story) on the news, in the newspaper, and then the Parkersburg Lions Club is also helping with funding,” Shoemaker said.

The McDonough Foundation provided $1,000, and the Parkersburg Lions Club has indicated it will cover the remaining amount not paid for by private donors, Shoemaker said. Anyone that wants to contribute to the effort can contact the museum at 304-420-0332 or stop by or mail a donation to the museum at 1829 Seventh St., Parkersburg, WV 26101. Checks can be made out to the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Last week, the workers replaced 60 bricks in about two hours. Shoemaker said she expects several more such sessions will be needed to finish the job.

“We’re definitely looking at a month or two,” she said.